GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) — A man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting in Nashville was arrested late Tuesday in Gresham by the U.S. Marshals Service Oregon Fugitive Task Force.Police say 21-year-old Evan Kenyon Knox is wanted on homicide and attempt homicide warrants.The Oregonian says Knox reportedly is suspected of shooting of 22-year-old Thomas Rutledge while he was riding a four-wheeler through a public housing project with his 4-year-old stepson. The boy was not hurt.
SEATTLE — A man was struck and killed by an Amtrak train while posing for a photograph Saturday afternoon in Auburn, according to BNSF Railway.The man’s identity was not released Saturday, but an Auburn police spokesman told The Seattle Times he was 42 and from Las Vegas.BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said the man’s girlfriend was taking the photos. She was not hurt.The death caused the line to be shut down until 6 p.m.Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said the Amtrak Cascades train was carrying about 130 passengers from Portland to Seattle. Some passengers went by bus to Seattle while others waited until the train got moving again.This is the second fatality on BNSF property in Washington this year. There were 20 deaths last year.
Jeremiah Denton, the downed Navy pilot who was paraded before television cameras by the Viet Cong and confirmed U.S. suspicions of prisoner maltreatment during the Vietnam War by blinking out the word “torture” in Morse code, has died. He was 89.Denton, a former U.S. senator from Alabama, died Friday in Virginia Beach, Va. He had been in failing health for several years, a grandson, Edward Denton, said in confirming his death.From 1965 to 1973, Denton was held at the “Hanoi Hilton” and several other infamous Vietnamese prisons.Systematically starved, beaten and humiliated, he was among the first U.S. prisoners freed, declaring as he stepped from a plane at Clark Air Field in the Philippines on Feb. 12, 1973: “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our commander in chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.”A conservative and a war hero, he became the first Republican elected to the Senate from Alabama in more than a century. Taking office in 1981, he was known for his uncompromising stands on defense and social issues, including abortion, adultery and homosexuality.“He has kept his distance from the rolling carnival of legislative deal-making as if convinced that contact would taint his beliefs with shadows,” the National Journal said in 1986.
MARYSVILLE — A detective investigating the high school shooting in Washington state that left five teens dead says in court papers that the young shooter’s texts turned dark the week before he opened fire, with references to his funeral and the message: “Bang bang I’m dead.”Moments before Jaylen Fryberg, 15, shot his fellow students Oct. 24 in the Marysville Pilchuck High School cafeteria, he texted more than a dozen relatives, describing what he wanted to wear at his funeral and who should get his personal possessions, the detective’s search warrant affidavit says.The boy asked relatives to apologize to the families of his friends “who get caught up in the (expletive) tomorrow” — referring to the day after the shooting. He also sent texts in the previous days to a female friend talking about his death and funeral.The popular teen fatally shot four friends he had invited to lunch and wounded a fifth teen before killing himself.The victims are Gia Soriano, Zoe Galasso and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, all 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15. All were shot in the head. Nate Hatch, 14, was shot in the jaw and is recovering. Andrew Fryberg and Hatch are the shooter’s cousins.Investigators have found no evidence to support a rumor that students had expressed concerns about Jaylen Fryberg to school authorities before the shooting, police spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Wednesday.
Okazaki, whose company has received positive reviews for its Kabuki theater performances with MGM in Las Vegas, said, “It is important to merge Japan’s traditional arts, such as Kabuki, with cutting-edge technology to make something dynamic and beautiful.“It also needs to be easy to understand (for both foreigners and modern Japanese). In addition, by utilizing projection mapping and through a partnership with NTT, we have been able to utilize “kirari” – an immersive telepresence technology that delivers an unprecedented realistic experience that can be broadcast across the globe live. We hope to use this to provide an immersive entertainment experience.”Chai ran through the history of MGM’s entertainment in Las Vegas including Cirque de Soleil, the Jabbawockeez, boxing and NHL among other sports events.Noting the company’s Kabuki theater cooperation with Shochiku, she said, “We want to respect Japan’s culture and uniqueness as we bring it to other cultures for them to enjoy.”Melco’s Winckler said there “needs to be a set of rules to create and provide entertainment that dominates the world.”There are, he said, seven rules including “something that the audience can participate with and experience”, “entertainment with a local focus” and “next-generation technology.” In addition, he stressed that, “A Japanese IR should focus on Japan. It doesn’t have to be traditional, but it needs to be tailored to the audience.” Load More Suncity Group looking to develop new resort hotel in Okinawa, Japan after US$10 million land purchase Suncity Group, Bloomberry Resorts unveil Wakayama IR visions Osaka approves Yumeshima site for commercial development in latest IR move The 3rd IR Study Session organized by the Japanese IR Association was held at the first meeting hall of the House of Representatives in Tokyo on Wednesday. The study session is a program for house members and local governments who are actively seeking an IR bid. The venue was much bigger than the previous iteration and it was observed that even more participants had come to listen intently to the information being given.There were presentations given by MGM Resorts VP Amy Chai, Melco Resorts EVP and Chief Marketing and Brand Officer Frederic Winckler, and Shochiku Co., Ltd Managing Director Tetsuya Okazaki. Each spoke about potential entertainment concepts for a Japanese IR. RelatedPosts
Mental health issues accounted for 30% of group income protection claims in 2015, according to Legal and General.The insurance provider’s claims information, which has been released to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (16-22 May), also found that early intervention and funding for appropriate treatment helped 80% of mental health absence notifications in 2015, so that employees could return to work before a claim was made. This included the provision of 6,491 psychological treatment sessions.Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, and psychological disorders have been the main reason behind group income protection claims to Legal and General for the last 17 years.Martin Noone (pictured), managing director at Legal and General Workplace Health and Protection, said: “Mental health issues are becoming increasingly commonplace in the UK and it is a topic that needs to be discussed much more often, making this week’s awareness campaign a vital part of encouraging people to discuss such issues openly.”
Law firm BLM is to introduce an online retirement planning tool for its 1,700 employees.The tool, provided by Portus, enables staff to calculate their retirement income and see how this could change in different scenarios, helping employees to plan for their retirement.The launch follows a review of BLM’s benefits package and the appointment of Portus as the organisation’s employee benefits and pensions consultancy. This will also see BLM introduce a wider suite of online benefits.Louise McCarthy-Teague (pictured), human resources director at BLM, said: “We had a thorough review of not only the benefits we were providing but also how we offered a diverse and savvy workforce a forward-thinking and creative package.“We have also worked with Portus to introduce RetirePort, [its] online retirement planning tool, to our whole workforce. This complements our employee engagement work by ensuring our employees have access to financial guidance and education in relation to the ever-changing pensions landscape.”
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on draft regulations to simplify procedures around the bulk transfer of defined contribution (DC) pension arrangements without member consent.The consultation, which was launched on 26 October 2017 and will run until 30 November 2017, seeks views on the draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Preservation of Benefits) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.The regulations propose that the need to obtain an actuarial certificate and the scheme relationship condition should both be removed for DC to DC transfers where there are no potentially valuable guarantees or options to be assessed. The regulations also recommend that the automatic-enrolment default fund charge cap protections should be extended to members who are transferred without consent.The draft regulations also explore ways to maintain member protections. This includes recommendations that pension trustees review the receiving pension scheme if the transfer is not into an authorised scheme, and that trustees should consult with an independent professional. If the transfer is to a scheme authorised under the master trust regime, trustees will still have to maintain their fiduciary duties to act in the best interests of members. The DWP is considering further guidance to be issued on this point.The DWP expects the draft regulations to come into force from 6 April 2018, subject to Parliamentary approval.The draft regulations do not cover defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, DC schemes which include guarantees, orphaned schemes or stakeholder schemes.The consultation is in response to a call for evidence that was conducted between December 2016 and February 2017 by the DWP. This collected feedback on how the provisions on bulk transfers without member consent from DC pensions, in particular from occupational and stakeholder pension schemes, could be improved. The call for evidence received 45 responses.The consultation is seeking views from pension industry bodies and professionals, trustees or scheme managers, pension scheme members and beneficiaries, employers and representative organisations, and any other interested parties.Sharon Bellingham, senior consultant at Hymans Robertson, said: “We very much welcome this consultation and few would argue that it’s long overdue. It’s been quite clear that the prevailing requirements are not suited to 21st century DC to DC change; they are very much at odds with the current pensions landscape and direction of travel, an unnecessary hangover, albeit well intended, from the DB world. Where a change is straightforward, technical actuarial input isn’t necessary; it adds costs and an additional layer of complexity.“However, it’s key that we avoid a free for all. It’s imperative that members’ interests remain protected and are at the heart of decision making. I would expect the further guidance that is due to follow to be in the spirit of assessing value for members. Giving trustees the ability to adopt a pragmatic, meaningful and holistic approach will ensure that decisions are very much aligned to members and will support best possible outcomes at retirement.”
POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – The Broward Sheriff’s Office is searching for a thief who robbed a senior citizen at a Pompano Beach ATM.This happened at an ATM at a Suntrust Bank located at 1409 East Atlantic Blvd. in Pompano Beach on March 27 at 3:15 p.m., according to BSO.Surveillance video captured the thief approaching the victim from behind.According to deputies, the victim was approached by a man in a gray jacket covering his left hand. The man asked the victim for $20. The victim refused, but once the ATM withdrawal was complete, the man snatched the money from his hands and fled on foot.The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s with short dark hair and a short beard. He was tall with a thin frame, wore glasses, a dark long-sleeve button-up shirt and a white undershirt.If you have any information on this robbery, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
District 1 – Big Pine Key to Stock Island:Long Beach Road: Mile Marker 33Key Deer Boulevard/Wilder Road: Mile Marker 30.5New Found Harbor: Mile Marker 30Ship’s Way: Mile Marker 29.5Barry Avenue/Pirates Road: Mile Marker 28.5State Road 4A: Mile Marker 28West Indies Drive: Mile Marker 27.5East and West Shore Drive: Mile Marker 25Caribbean Drive: Mile Marker 24.5Spanish Main Drive: Mile Marker 23Ocean and Cutthroat Drive: Mile Marker 22.75Drost Drive: Mile Marker 21Crane Boulevard: Mile Marker 19Sugarloaf Boulevard: Mile Marker 17South Pointe Drive: Mile Marker 16.5East and West Circle Drive: Mile Marker 15Blue Water Drive: Mile Marker 14.5Boca Chica Road: Mile Marker 11Active Patrol – Blue Water Drive to Long Beach RoadActive Patrol – West Indies Drive to Ramrod KeyActive Patrol – Stock Island to Big Coppitt KeyDistrict 4 and 5:Coral Key: Mile Marker 63Duck Key: Mile Marker 60Coco Plum Drive: Mile Marker 54Sombrero Beach Road/Anglers Drive: Mile Marker 50Sombrero Boulevard/53rd Street: Mile Marker 50For more information, click here.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Residents, business and property owners may return to the Lower Keys and Key West beginning tomorrow at 7:30 a.m.— Florida Keys Sheriff (@mcsonews) September 17, 2017In a news release issued on Saturday, officials listed a series of checkpoints that will be in place beginning Sunday. They will limit access to parts of the Keys to residents, business owners, disaster workers and supply vehicles.The Florida City checkpoint along U.S. 1 will remain in place. Residents and business owners must show either proof of residency or proof of business ownership.While there will be no checkpoints along U.S. 1 in the Keys, there will be checkpoints at 21 neighborhoods in the hardest hit areas in the corridor between Marathon and Key West. Due to unsafe conditions, only residents or business owners, or people contracted to do work for those property owners, will be allowed to enter those locations.The checkpoints are located as follows: KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) – Monroe County removed the road block from the north end of the Seven Mile Bridge, Sunday morning, allowing residents and business owners to return to the Lower Keys.
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) – A plane flying from Mexico City to Miami sustained significant damage after striking a bird during landing.The bird hit the American Airlines jet head-on, getting stuck in the nose as the plane was landing at MIA.The pilot managed to land safely, but the nose of the plane sustained significant damage.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A driver was killed after he lost control of his car along Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale, causing him to be ejected as the vehicle overturned, officials said.Florida Highway Patrol troopers responded to the scene of the crash just south of Northwest 19th Street, near the Oakland Park Boulevard exit, just after 6:30 a.m., Sunday.According to investigators, the victim was heading southbound in a silver 2009 Infiniti sedan when he lost control of the car. The vehicle rotated as it crossed from the paved outside travel lanes to the west emergency shoulder, striking the metal guardrail face at a high rate of speed.After that initial collision, officials said, the Infiniti got back on the highway and began overturning, causing the driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, to be ejected.The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials have identified him as 54-year-old Jeffrey Malone.Troopers shut down all lanes for hours while they investigated. The roadway has since reopened.The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
CAPE CORAL, Fla. (WSVN) — An ancient bone was discovered at a construction site in Southwest Florida.A worker stumbled upon the fossil in Cape Coral in August. Experts said the fossilized pieces could be part of a rib or tusk from over a thousand years ago.They stressed how lucky the find actually was.“So it’s not so much a matter that these are extremely rare,” Archaeological Conservancy Director Robert Karr said, “it’s just rare to find them because they’re, generally speaking, inaccessible.”It’s not the first fossil found in Cape Coral, either.A mammoth bone was discovered last month as well. It was estimated to be up to 2.5 million years old.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Crews were able to contain a grass fire that sparked in West Miami-Dade.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units initially had trouble gaining access to the area, near Northwest 12th Street and 137th Avenue, Saturday morning.Crews requested backup from the Florida Forest Service, and working together, they were able to get through the heavily wooded area to put out the blaze.Officials believe the fire may have started in a nearby campsite.There were no injuries.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Since I wrote that piece, I’ve spoken to a few more b-to-b folks. And nothing I’m hearing suggests that I’m wrong to be nervous.So if I may continue this metaphor, let me say this, and let me say it my best drill sergeant voice: “Shut your damn mouths. Grab your goddamn entrenching tool and dig a goddamn hole!”When the new year begins, I’ll post some of my thoughts on what a B2B fighting hole looks like. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that some of the smarter folks in the industry are offering their suggestions on how to weather the coming dark times.First, David Shaw says now is NOT the time to panic or overreact.Second, Scott Karp suggests that now IS the time to go for broke in online ad sales.Third, in an article in FOLIO: magazine, 1105 Media’s Neal Vitale says it’s time to rethink staffing and accept that “you might find that you need more resources devoted to online content development.”More here … Back when I was younger and even more attractive than I am today, I was a soldier. And like other soldiers, I learned a set of skills that are sometimes difficult to transfer to the civilian world. I, for example, am a pretty good fighter with a bayonet. But my clients in the B2B world seldom have the need to employ me for my skills with edged weapons.On the other hand, back in infantry training at Fort Benning, I learned to dig a fighting hole. And I think that will prove a valuable skill-at least in the metaphorical sense-in 2008.A fighting hole, sometimes called a fox hole, is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a hole in the ground from which a soldier fights. But the key to a fighting hole is that it is a defensive position. It’s the place where a soldier lives, fights and struggles to hold the line. Although it is possible to advance from a fighting hole, it is more of a place to resist an onslaught than to plan an attack. And I’ve decided that it’s time for b-to-b editors and publishers to build some fighting holes.As the year draws to an end, I find myself worrying more and more about what next year will bring for our industry. As I mentioned a few days ago, “I’m worried that 2008 is going to be an awful year for B2B publishing.”
The idea of curated video content is an emerging one. “That video can be sourced, and appropriate video published from both user submissions and the wider Web is one that is taking hold quickly for publishers across the Web,” said Magnify.net CEO Steven Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum noted one current client, Reader’s Digest’s Taste of Home, provides 85 to 90 percent of its video content from outside sources.For Paul Sweeting, editor at Reed Business Information’s Content Agenda, there are “certain sources that we know produce a lot of videos that work for us, such as TechTicker and blip.tv, so we tend to draw on those a lot,” he told FOLIO:. “We also group videos under specific topic areas to make them easier to find.”It also helps with the problem of advertisers shying away from user generated content. “Ad agencies we’ve spoken with say, ‘We don’t want to advertise on the same page as unreviewed user generated content,’” Rosenbaum said. But with curated video content, they are generally more comfortable doing so.While Magnify declined to reveal the cost of the platform, Rosenbaum said that in all cases publishers are paying significantly below $10 per thousand pages. Magnify.net is expected to announce tomorrow a partnership with New York magazine’s nymag.com to build and deploy a Web 2.0 video service. Magnify will build a custom video player and provide encoding, discovery and “curation.”The platform allows publishers to integrate user-generated video, their own video or video from alternate sources—and build a large collection of video content without the cost of producing all original video. Nymag.com has already made significant in-house investments in video (video.nymag.com). (It is currently served by platform provider The Feedroom in a partnership will expire in March.)The partnership with Magnify will start April 1.“The Magnify platform offers all the key player customization and video content management features we need for our own video production, plus the ability to aggregate and curate video from around the Web that fits our brand and our users’ interests,” said Michael Silberman, general manger of digital media for New York Media, New York Magazine’s parent company. “Magnify will give our users and our advertisers a great new video experience.”
And “meet-ups,” of course, are common for technology sites like TechCrunch and the D.I.Y. nerds who read Make. But I was slightly surprised to hear about BusinessWeek’s soiree. Who knew magazines did this sort of thing anymore? I thought curated dinners would’ve surely been cut from publishers’ 2009 budgets long ago.Nice to see. Last night, on the 50th floor of the McGraw-Hill Building in New York, BusinessWeek.com’s editor (and tweeter-in-chief) John Byrne hosted a dinner for a small group of 10 readers who “made significant contributions to its Web site last year.”“This is our first ever but it won’t be our last,” Byrne said, via Twitter of course. “It was a terrific group of smart, engaged readers who had lots of good advice.”He added: “Great meal, too, with chocolate mousse cake & apple tart with vanilla ice cream to finish it off.”This type of “reader engagement” may be new to BusinessWeek, but is nothing new to magazines. Jane magazine used to host regular pizza parties for readers in its Manhattan offices. (They invited me to one once; I declined, figuring I’d have time to attend one eventually. Oops.)
Five Yellow Stars (which signifies the program’s highest ranking):1. Allure (Conde Nast)2. Elle (Hearst)3. WIRED (Conde Nast)4. Alpha Magazine (News Corp)5. Gourmet Live (Conde Nast)One Black Star (though still certified, this represents the lowest starred ranking in iMonitor’s grading system):1. Conde Nast Traveler2. GeoBee Challenge HD by National Geographic3. Celebrate the Holidays with Better Homes and Gardens (Meredith)4. Ultimate Dinopedia: The Most Complete Dinosaur Reference Ever (National Geographic Society)5. Science Illustrated (Bonnier) iMonitor ranks app performance in four categories: app design, and how easily navigable the app is; media performance, including video and other rich elements; functionality; and advertising. According to Rebecca McPheters, founder of McPheters & Company, the advertising grade is not integrated into the app’s rating. She notes publishers’ lesser control of advertising design as partial reason to exclude this grade as part of the overall app performance.After submission, apps are tested against McPheters’ evaluation system by a team of 5 to 6 staff. If the app becomes iMonitor certified (which requires performance without malfunction and ranking in the top 20 percent of reviewed apps), it is then awarded a star rating based on a scale between 10.5 and 14+. Currently, over 3,000 apps have been evaluated through the iMonitor system. Nothing turns a tech user off faster than system malfunctions. In the arms race the app market has shaped up to be, publishers are debuting their offerings as quickly as they can produce them. Unfortunately, this often does not leave time to work out the final kinks of download issues, faulty links and stalled videos. In an attempt to inform users and advertisers of the best (and worst) magazine apps available, consulting and research business McPheters & Company has created the iMonitor Certification program. According to a press release from McPheters, about 40 percent of apps “have significant malfunctions”; and the iMonitor Certification is looking to award the other 60 percent for their good behavior. iMonitor subscriber apps are automatically included in the testing system, and other apps wishing to get certified must submit their products. Subscription prices for iMonitor (which grants users access to the full database of detailed app ratings) vary per company. For a non-subscribing company to submit an app for rating, it costs $4,500 to receive a full report and possible certification. For those who pass the certification, iMonitor awards the app a Certified symbol for 12 months. During that year, apps are continually retested after updates; if they slip under rating expectations, the symbol will be pulled from the app. If apps improve, iMonitor will grant the app a higher rating.Who made the top grade, according to iMonitor? See a partial list of the top performing 20 percent of reviewed apps below.
New York—Mashable has come a long way from its beginnings as a WordPress blog that a 19-year-old Pete Cashmore launched as a way to connect with his peers and learn about social media and tech as he went along. Cashmore, in a Q&A keynote during the 2011 FOLIO: Show held here, discussed the importance social media has had with the site’s audience growth, which is now at 20 million uniques per month. The company is still fairly small, said Cashmore, numbering around 50 employees, with the edit team taking up the bulk of that, around 25-30 staff. In addition to edit, other groups include an events team, the technology group, and sales.Cashmore singled out the community division as particularly unique, noting its “listening” role which has become a key method for determining where and how to distribute content on the site and along the various platforms. The role this team plays in the overall structure of the company highlights the importance social media has in amplifying Mashable’s brand and content as well as engagement as an increasingly important audience metric.In describing the way Mashable evaluates the performance of its content, Cashmore noted the fine line publishers have to take. “I don’t think there’s a defined answer to that. It’s always a balance. If you just looked at page views you’d be doing a lot of cat videos.” Engagement is the “clearest” metric, Cashmore said, and with this is a focus on how content is making its way across the social networks. This also signals how certain content types and story topics resonate with readers. The more a particular piece of content is shared across networks the more value it has—triggering the dual effects of producing more content like it and highlighting the level of interaction among Mashable’s audience members. Traffic and page views, said Cashmore, are “not the end-all, be-all.”Cashmore described his audience as early adopters and thought leaders who are very connected—in a social networking kind of way. One new content offering Mashable has released is Mashable Follow, a proprietary and customizable content feed that lets users pick and choose only the topics they want to read. “It’s a desirable way to have a direct connection with your reader,” he said. The feed now has 500,000 users.Mashable’s business model is still fairly traditional, with the majority of revenue coming from advertising. Cashmore said events and the site’s job board are the next biggest contributors. The advantage that has allowed the site to grow beyond other tech sites is its ability to relate how technology and social media impact culture, lifestyle and politics. “We’re not a pure tech vertical,” he said. “That’s how we were able to outgrow the other tech blogs.”Cashmore said he’s particularly excited with the iPad, curiously noting its “tactile” nature—an argument publishers still make for print. Similarly, Cashmore likes the way publishers can “package the content and control the experience. It’s a tangible product that you can charge for and control.”
Dan Cohen AUTHOR After securing $30 million in defense economic adjustment assistance in Texas’ budget for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium to help support local installations, defense communities in the state are going to continue their campaign for $150 million to fend off a looming BRAC round.The lobbyist for Texas Mayors of Military Communities intends to meet with lawmakers from districts without bases to explain the significance of the state’s military presence, reports the El Paso Times.Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had initially proposed allocating $30 million to the Texas Military Preparedness Commission in the new budget, but lawmakers almost ignored the request. Last month Snapper Carr, the Texas Mayors’ lobbyist, and others mounted a last-minute effort to add the funds to the budget.“The governor’s office and the speaker’s office took the initiative,” Carr said, referring to House Speaker Joe Straus (R).Texas lawmakers separately passed legislation raising the cap on community grants from the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program from $2 million to $5 million. The grant program, administered by the Texas Military Preparedness Commission, hasn’t been funded since 2009, according to the story.Officials from defense communities are eager to apply for the state grants, reports the San Angelo Times. The funds are “absolutely critical,” said state Rep. Drew Darby (R), who represents San Angelo, home of Goodfellow Air Force Base. “We want to make sure we do everything we can do to demonstrate how important Goodfellow is to the state and to the nation,” Darby said.